We don’t have a leader, but you can talk to me… unless that’s a ray gun in your pocket
By Jeff Salter
This week’s question: If I saw aliens land nearby, would I interact?
The old cliché is that the alien ship lands, the team captain strides out and says, “Take me to your leader.” Presumably he has important inter-galactic business to discuss.
Well, these days, the LAST place I’d take an alien delegate … would be any office in Washington D.C. The way things are going now, hardly ANY of those folks are what I’d consider leaders. At least not effective ones.
So what would I do if aliens landed nearby?
Well, there are two basic scenarios.
I’d like to think the reason for their visit is peaceful curiosity … with the intention of cultural exchanges and maybe some technology transfers.
For me, the scene which has best captured that approach is when those sweet tiny beings swarm out of the mother ship near the end of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and gently escort Richard Dreyfuss up the ramp. We have to believe he will be treated well.
Well, unfortunately, this ‘good news’ scenario is less than ONE per cent of the situations I’m acquainted with.
A far greater probability – around 99% … based on all the sci-fi movies I’ve seen – is that aliens are here for nefarious purposes. Usually it’s domination of the earth’s people and/or resources, sometimes out-and-out annihilation of earthlings, and often brutal experimentation.
In most of those cases, the aliens make no pretext of “conversation” — they show up with their ray guns blazing.
The conclusion I’ve noted with relative certainty: if the ships hover for days and you don’t receive any peaceful contact… it’s definitely a war party. So you’d better flee.
Where do you hide?
It’s clear from the movies that aliens can easily find you in your house, vehicle, nearly any building, and usually in the woods. [Note: if you have an isolated cabin in the woods, they can find you about three times faster than if you lived in a suburban tract.]
But it appears reasonably safe if you’re on the water … or under the water. Not sure why aliens don’t seem to like liquid – except for those who emerge from undersea alien bases – but I think you’ve got a much better chance of survival under water.
Mountains seem to be a pretty good escape destination, too. Earthlings have a tendency to climb UP to get away from bad stuff, even if those evil elements come from the skies. Maybe aliens don’t like climbing or perhaps the craggy peaks interfere with their vision / communication / guidance systems. But I think you’re much safer among mountains than on basically flat land.
If you’re stuck in a city when the BAD aliens arrive, you’re slightly better off in a small town than in large city. You see, the aliens already know all the big cities by heart — all their invasion schools train with large earthly metropolitan cities and concentrated population groups. You’re much better off in small towns that the aliens have never heard of. For one thing — fewer street lights and high-rise buildings. Heck, if you have a secluded storm shelter in a very small town, you might escape the aliens’ attention altogether!
In most cases, aliens can read your thoughts, so whatever your survival plan, please do NOT “think” about it a lot. Just make a quick plan with whoever you’re trying to escape with … and then have all parties start thinking of something else. Anything else. One of the best ways to block aliens from reading your actual thoughts is to mentally recite unrelated things like your shopping list. Advertising jingles also drive them nuts. If you can’t remember any of those, just mentally sing a few theme songs from TV shows. Gilligan’s Island always throws them off.
Oh, I guess I should mention this — though it won’t do any good, judging from all the movies I’ve seen. Guns and bullets do NOT do anything against alien craft or their occupants, except tick them off. [Rocket launchers are pretty effective, however.] Oddly enough, even though you can’t hurt an alien by shooting it, you can really mess them up with a knife! Yep — cut an alien and it bleeds. But it’s not the red stuff we have in our veins. It’s usually clear, milky, or even green… and it smells awful.
If you’re captured by aliens
You’ll have a lot of worries if they capture you, but one of the biggies is to decline ANY invitation to tour one of their laboratories. Yeah, that’s where they conduct their medical experiments… and you don’t want to go there.
Don’t bother to request a visit from the American Embassy either, because the only alien cultures holding a reciprocal agreement with our government is that group working in the below-ground research labs at Area 51.
My advice is to negotiate. Tell them you know a LOT about old movies and TV shows – or comic books, whatever – and that you’d love to cooperate with their cultural historians on a series of documentaries about Earth. That should keep them busy for a few months — and while they relax their guard, you can possibly locate the escape pod.
If they offer to set you up with an alien girlfriend / boyfriend, just tell them you don’t date. Nothing good can come from this avenue and it’s guaranteed NOT to be any kind of, um, “interaction” that you’d expect from a fellow human.
Most of their meals will not be recognizable to you, so you should begin your incarceration by requesting only ordinary water … provided they have any. If I tell you that aliens eat mainly goo, paste, and things that look like brussels sprouts, that should give you an idea. Proceed with caution.
What would YOU do if aliens landed nearby? Run? Or Mingle?